Two days to go to the spookiest night of the year! For most families, especially those with young children, a big effort is made to dress up the house and have a party at Halloween. But why do we do it? Halloween is a shortened name for the real name of this day. All Hallow’s Eve is the day named by the Scots and falling before All Hallow’s Day on November 1st, when families remember their loved ones and friends passed away. In Ireland Halloween is linked to the Celtic Festival of Samhain (pronounced Sah-win) which notes the first of four quarter days in the Gaelic Calendar. This day marks the real start of winter and celebrates the harvest of crops the summer has provided. It was thought that spirits of fairies and the dead could could appear to the living on this night. Their souls were thought to revisit their homes – which explains the spooky element to the night. Micheal Jackson’s Thriller video depicts the more macabre side of this! But we don’t think choreographed zombies climbing out of graves can really happen in a graveyard near you! However, that won’t stop the traditions of pumpkins being carved into scary faces, or kids of the small or grown up variety donning ghostlike fancy dress costumes to go trick and treating in the neighbourhood. Trick or treating is a relatively new invention, probably from the American custom, but its become part of the fun at Halloween. Make sure you have plenty of treats in the cupboard for the zombies, witches and ghosts that may knock on your door in two days time! Hopefully there will be real live people underneath those costumes. But then again, who knows….